Two episodes of ”The Jetsons” on home video
Maybe you’ve seen the ads for Jetsons: The Movie. Maybe they’ve made you nostalgic for the original TV show, which ran in the early ’60s. Maybe they’ve even convinced you to buy or rent videocassettes of TV episodes you enjoyed as a kid. Maybe you should reconsider the whole thing.
These two episodes — Las Venus and Astro’s Top Secret — from the series, which Hanna-Barbera apparently hopes will ride to video success on the current movie’s coattails, show why some cherished childhood memories don’t withstand return visits. In retrospect, The Jetsons series was a weak attempt by animation producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to re-create the success they enjoyed with The Flintstones. Both shows offered flat and lifeless animation, but The Flintstones at least had an interesting premise — a bellowing working-class stiff, his beleaguered wife, and their dopey neighbors. It was stolen from The Honeymooners, of course, but Hanna-Barbera gave it a crude stone-age twist.
The Jetsons, by contrast, were just a boring sitcom family transposed into the 21st century. No amount of wacky clothing, antigravity belts, and robot servants could make up for the show’s lack of personality or wit.
Take one example of Jetsons humor from ”Las Venus,” in which George and his wife, Jane, are going on a second honeymoon and leaving the kids with Grandma. Says daughter Judy: ”I know she’s a nice old lady, but her cuisine is murder.” Adds son Elroy: ”Yeah, and so’s her cooking.” It’s harder to say what’s cheaper about The Jetsons — the animation or the gags.
Both cassettes: D-